Friday, June 03, 2011


Thursday, June 02, 2011


Monday, October 02, 2006

Copperheads ~ just another snake in the grass

“Democrats oppose the war, blaming the president and
the Republicans. The Democrats see the president as a
tyrant bent on destroying America using despotic
powers. The anti-war movement promotes desertion,
encourages enemy soldiers, and supports the actions of
prisoners of war against their jailors.”

The statements above are nothing new. We’ve heard it
all before. It’s the same tired old song and, as
expected, Democrats get very agitated when such things
are said. The only remarkable thing about the above
statements is that they come from the 1860s and the
time of the Civil War. If you’d care to check on the
facts, research the Copperheads and you’ll see for
yourself that the modus operandi of the Democratic
Party has a long and ignoble history.

It’s true. Then, as now, the Democrats, in time of
war, were driven by partisan ambition rather than by
morals, justice, or what’s best for the country.
Today’s Democrats did not demonstrate or protest when
troops were sent to Haiti, Somalia, or Bosnia. They
did not demand to investigate the reasons for those
actions. It seems their “pacifistic-diplomania”
manifests only when there is a Republican in the White
House, and that begs the question, “why is that?”

John M. Stettner
Springfield, VT

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Bigots Don't Have To Make Sense

What is truly sad is that the broader readership of
The Springfield Reporter doesn’t object to Chuck
Gregory’s bigotry. I hope that their silence doesn’t
imply agreement. His statement that the “Israelis
knew about an imminent attack [on the World Trade
Center on 9/11], canceled their lease and moved out
less than two weeks before” was, at the same time, one
of the most infuriating and disheartening things I
have ever read.

He is referring to the Zim America Corporation, the
controlling company for the Israeli merchant marine
fleet, which had studied its position earlier in 2001
and by April had settled on Norfolk, Virginia as the
most effective venue for their operations. Their
lease was not broken, it was allowed to run out and
not renewed as of September 1, 2001, though a small
office was maintained for their shipping-tracking
computer systems - which were destroyed in the attack,
thus disrupting the entire merchant marine fleet of
Israel (dumb move for people who knew what was
coming). Mr. Gregory must be relying on the debunked
writings of Christopher Bollyn (American Free Press),
who’s become the sole source for this element of the
wider 9/11 conspiracy theorists. However, I wouldn’t
be surprised to learn he subscribed to Mohammed
al-Amir Atta, a retired lawyer and father to the
leader of the 9/11 hijackers, who, like Mr. Gregory,
blames the attack on the Israelis.

I read a lot. I spend a good deal of time researching
a wide variety of subjects. It is amazing the amount
of information out there and some of it stretches
one’s credulity, requiring serious consideration of
which sources one chooses to accept and repeat. The
easy access to credible information fuels my ire with
Mr. Gregory. It would have taken almost no time at
all and hardly any effort for him to have learned that
of the thousands who died that day, over 400 were
Jews. It takes a sick and twisted mind to buy into
such a story whose origin has been proven to emanate
from Pravda and Al-Manar Television. It comes as no
surprise to me that Mr. Gregory would quote Pravda
and, I guess, given his protests in the center of
town, it should come as no surprise that he’s a
mouthpiece for “the pro-Palestinian channel for Arabs
and Muslims.” I guess what bothers me is that it
doesn’t seem to bother anyone else enough for them to
write in about it.

It’s somewhat odd that Mr. Gregory has the ability to
feel everyone else’s pain (I draw your attention back
to the woman whose private life he described so
vividly from one epithet she yelled at him during one
of his protests), yet he’s unable to be touched by the
ruin of Larry Silverstein, another Jew linked to 9/11.
Granted, Silverstein is one of those rich people who
have more money than they should, according to Mr.
Gregory. Silverstein is also one of those
“pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps,” “self-made
success-stories” that Mr. Gregory told us never
existed. Mr. Silverstein earned his riches building
buildings like World Trade Center Number 7. He became
so enamored of the project that through a series of
good and bad events he ended up buying the WTC towers
on July 24, 2001 for $3.2 billion. The terms of the
deal were $616 million upon signing and $100 million
each year for the next ten years. And, yes, there’s
insurance - he insured the towers for $3.5 billion,
however, the insurance company counts the event as one
claim, not one attack on each building. This being
the United States of the Twenty-first century, before
the dust settled at ground zero, the lawyers descended
on Mr. Silverstein. Mr. Gregory’s kook theory doesn’t
explain how Mr. Silverstein, a friend to many Israeli
officials, including Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu,
and Ehud Barak, got left off the list of those who
were warned.

As with most bigots, Mr. Gregory is long on blame but
disastrously short on responsibility. He wrote that
“George Bush will go down in history as the first
president to lose an entire city in peacetime.” What
his hatred blinds him to is the simple fact that
Washington, DC is a great distance away from New
Orleans and that the President of the United States
has no authority in local politics there. The Federal
government is barred from activating the National
Guard, that’s the purview of the State’s governors -
it’s that pesky document the Constitution that Mr.
Gregory so frequently ignores. It wasn’t George Bush
who squandered Federal money earmarked for levee
maintenance; that was Ray Nagen, the mayor of New
Orleans, who also neglected to force his people to
evacuate, who also neglected to provide transportation
for their evacuation. It wasn’t George Bush who
trapped people in the arena without food or water;
that was the Governor of Louisiana. But then, Chuck
Gregory has never allowed the facts to color his
jaundiced view of the world, only his hatred. What
Mr. Gregory steadfastly refuses to admit to himself is
that New Orleans has been run lock-stock-and-barrel by
Democrats for over sixty years. If there was poverty,
unemployment, drug-trafficking, and corruption there,
it wasn’t the fault of “the Republican agenda...geared
to creating crises for the purpose of rewarding

Mr. Gregory can continue to shoot spitballs at me from
his comfortably blinkered corner, but I’m just about
done with him. The lies he peddles are too simple to
refute with facts and his distortions are too bizarre
for serious consideration. His ranting reminds me of
the tirades my daughter spouts when she doesn’t get
what she wants, but she’s only

Followup for Mr. Otis: As I mentioned above, I do do a
lot of research and I can’t seem to find any reputable
historian who corroborates your claim that “the
Capitalistic Rockefeller-Rothschild financial empires
did finance the Communist movement in Russia, leading
to the Bolshevik coup.” Likewise, I found no evidence
whatsoever for a “Capitalist Establishment” funding
for the 1960s radical movements. That doesn’t mean
they are not out there, just that I couldn’t find
them; perhaps you could provide some real historical
analyses, rather than Adrian Krieg who is a leading
conspiracy theorist author. I was able to track down
your obscure reference to the Chinese in Panama, but
again I was unable to find any serious discussion of,
or even propositions for, a Chinese Red Army based
there. Finally, Mr. Otis, in the age of stealth
bombers able to fly around the world almost non-stop,
enter a theater of war, deliver a varied payload
capable of destroying anti-aircraft units, armored
vehicles, runways, installations, and personnel, and
then return home, why would you worry about the Panama
canal, especially given the existence of the Atlantic
and Pacific Fleets at either end of it?

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Another Ride On The Chuck Wagon

Let’s do it again. Last week, Chuck Gregory wrote a
letter which opened with “liberals are so accustomed
to being ignored and dumped on that they just get on
with life and concentrate on more important things,
like the pursuit of truth and justice.” He then
pretends to compare the honesty of David Brock and
Brent Bozell III through the medium of their websites.
It is amusing to note that Chuck couldn’t even get
those right: Bozell’s website is not,
which is AOL’s Instant Messenger! AIM’s site is and, to compound Chuck’s error, Bozell has
nothing to do with AIM (you can go to their website
and look at the ‘Who We Are’ and ‘FAQ’ links). Chuck
seems to think that “Accuracy in Media was founded in
the early Eighties by Brent Bozell,” however AIM was
founded in 1969 by Reed Irvine and Brent Bozell III
founded the Media Research Center
( in 1987.

However, since Chuck wants to contrast Bozell and
Brock, I’m game. The exercise tells much more about
Chuck than it does either subject. There is simply no
integrity involved with the comparison, just as there
is not really any comparison. Had Chuck actually
selected a few reports and compared them side-by-side
(as I have often done with liberal-conservative
issues) the facts would have been clear for all to
see. Instead, using duplicity and sleight-of-hand
Chuck gives credibility where it is not due. Chuck
should have compared the books each has written
(Bozell’s “Weapons of Mass Deception” and Brock’s
“Blinded by the Right”).

“Weapons of Mass Deception” is a quick and
straight-forward read that puts the lie to the
ridiculous claim that the media is controlled
conservatives, leans right, or is soft on Republicans.
One simply can not read the legion of specific news
stories itemized by Bozell and walk away with any
opinion but that the media is by-and-large leftist.
Far from being “ignored and dumped on,” liberals have
an eager and active promoter in the media.

On the other hand, “Blinded by the Right” is another
matter. “Blinded by the Right” is Brocks story of his
move from the Right to the Left. Remarkably, he
forgets to tell the story of his earlier move from the
Left to the Right, which would put his later switch
into better context. The book is totally subjective
and supported only by the reliability of the author,
David Brock, which begs the question: ‘how good is his
credibility?’ Frank Rich (certainly not a
conservative) writing for the New York Times, noted
that “by his own account, Brock has lied so often that
a reader can't take on faith some of the juicier
newsbreaks from the impeachment era in his book." For
instance, Brock promotes the liberal lie of the
virulent homophobia and anti-gay view of the
Republican Party in his chapter titled ‘Out of the
Closet,’wherein he writes about a ‘turning point’
episode involving David Horowitz, who also made the
move from Left to Right: “Soon thereafter, Horowitz
uttered a hateful anti-gay slur to an editor friend of
mine whom Horowitz didn’t know was gay. At the time, I
shrugged it off, not willing to face the truth about
my friends and supporters. Not until such epithets
were hurled at me would I realize I had been on a
fool’s errand in trying to carve out a place for
myself as an openly gay icon in the conservative
movement. Only then did I begin to see by allowing
myself to be used as a kind of gay right-wing poster
boy, I had been complicit in the bigoted politics and
rank hypocrisy of the conservatives." The first lie
here is that in the previous chapter, Brock described
how he was forced to admit his sexual orientation
under threat of ‘outing’ by a liberal gay-activist
group trying to muzzle him for his conservative
writings. The second lie is the Horowitz comment,
which was denied by Chad Conway, the ‘editor friend.’
It should be noted that contrary to the fable of the
left, there is a vibrant and active homosexual segment
of the Republican Party.

Along the same line, Brock further exposes his lack of
credibility on page 121 where he describes another
‘turning point’ moment for his falling out and
eye-opening separation with conservatives at the 1992
Republican National Convention. The Republican
leadership, he says, “virtually launched an antigay
pogrom...there was far less ideological affinity
between the GOP and me than when I had first come to
Washington. The party had left me and many other
libertarian-leaning conservatives back in Houston" The
problem here is that Brock, a San Francisco Bay Area
resident, lists Ronald Reagan as a personal hero.
That would be Ronald (friend of Jerry Falwell) Reagan.
The same Reagan who in 1984 (8 years earlier) stood
by Jeane Kirkpatrick’s anti-gay “San Francisco
Democrats” comments. So, it is hard to credit such an
epiphany as late as 1992.

David Brock has problems with credibility and it has
nothing to do with the Right, he was not twisted into
deceit by his conservative minders, as he would like
the reader to believe. Like most liars, Brock lies
even about little things. There as a fellow student
at Berkeley who he wanted to be close to, so he told
him he was adopted and he allowed the lie to continue
for years into their relationship. Brock wanted to be
editor in chief of the ‘Daily Cal,’ the university
rag, so he concocted a lie about his opponent. After
college, when Brock worked on his ‘Troopergate’ story
for ‘The American Spectator,’ he violated his editor’s
hold on the story and leaked it to CNN. Brock notes
that “when confronted, I came up with a clearly
implausible lie.”

It should be noted that the Brock website,
MediaMatters, is slightly over a year old now, having
opened in mid-May of 2004 “with,” as the New York
Times reported, “more than $2 million in donations
from wealthy liberals [and] was developed with help
from the newly formed Center for American Progress,
the policy group headed by John D. Podesta, the former
Clinton chief of staff. And Mr. Brock said he hoped it
could help provide fodder for fledgling liberal radio
talk shows being started across the country, including
those of the comedians Al Franken and Janeane
Garofalo.” That would be Air America, the ‘fledgling
liberal radio’ for ‘those comedians’ that recently
stole $875,000 from the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club
of Bronx, NY. Brock also hired Katie Barge to manage
his researchers. The same Katie Barge who was allowed
to resign from Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) staff last
month for her involvement in illegally using
Maryland’s Lt Gov Michael Steele’s social security
number to get his credit reports. MediaMatters is
heavily funded by George Soros, a fact which Brock
denied until March of 2005 when, confronted with his
organizations financials, he was forced to admit it.
Admitting the relationship is important to put
MediaMatters’ organizational point-of-view and
statements into context; far from being unbiased,
their defenses of, AirAmerica, Center for
American Progress, and other Soros front groups show
who Brock’s bosses are. This is critical considering
MediaMatters filed as a 501(c)(3) and may be in
violation of federal election laws.

Chuck states that there are “moral and ethical
differences between liberals and conservatives.” As
we can see, his champion, David Brock, is no paragon
of virtue and his morals and ethics are at best open
to interpretation. I am perfectly willing to consider
Brent Bozell III as a champion for my side and I would
encourage Chuck to dredge up whatever he can to try to
drag him down. Chuck describes Clarence Thomas, a
well respected jurist, as “a neo-conservative lackey.”
Well, Chuck, how about you putt your money where your
mouth is and give us some information to prove your
smear. Chuck describes Bozell as “a right-winger who
thought that if you whine enough, people will start to
take your claims seriously.” Well, Chuck, how about
you give us some examples of Bozell’s whining, it
seems to me you’re the whiner here, full of gripes and
groans but not very much fact or evidence and as for
ethics and morals...well, let’s remember who your
champion is.

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Friday, September 30, 2005

They Said, I Said

Ironically, to respond to Mr. Otis’ letter of three
weeks ago, I find myself in the insane position of
having to defend President Jimmy Carter.

I should start out by admitting that Mr. Otis is quite
correct: I am naively obsessed with “good guys versus
bad guys.” I hasten to add that I am not so naive as
to think that there are no “black hats” in the
conservative movement. A few weeks ago, I wrote about
a few Republicans who I think need to be spanked.
However, there is no need for me to speak too often to
that issue because there are so many voices in that
chorus that one more adds nothing to the cacophony.
In fact, those raised to decry the iniquities of the
left are like voices in the wilderness.

Take for example Chuck Gregory’s obligatory
Bush-baiting and soft-sell on Al Gore two weeks ago.
Bush sabotaged the levies of New Orleans by not
funding them and, had Gore been President, he would
have allotted funds for their maintenance and been
castigated by evil Republicans as a wastrel. The
nonsense is so droll it has become unsurprising, if
not expected. However the facts, as usual, read quite
differently than the spin. While it is true that Bush
has consistently budgeted less than the Army Corps of
Engineers has asked for, Congress has always raised
the figure slightly, but still less than what the
Corps asked for. Even despite that, Corps civil works
projects in Louisiana have been better funded than
those in any other state in the union, to the tune of
$1.9 billion - note that California only got $1.4

What Chuck seems to have forgotten is that Al Gore was
the Vice President for 8 years and so we have a record
to look at and compare. What the record shows is that
the Bush Administration has budgeted more for
flood-control projects in the Big Easy than the
Clinton Administration did - I’m sure that Al Gore did
his best to influence Bill to be more giving, but
failed...again. ‘Bill and Al’s Excellent
Administration’ cut 98 flood-control projects and
terminated a $120 million project which would have
protected the West Bank (Harvey Canal) and its 140,000
lower-income black residents - but no one claimed Bill
and Al were racists. In 1999, Clinton budgeted only
half of what New Orleans officials requested for
flood-control - but no one claimed they wanted black
people to drown. In a completely Al Gore moment, Bill
promised to veto FY2000 appropriations for the Army
Corps, not because it spent more than he wanted, but
because it lacked a pet environmental project he
wanted - no, not levee maintenance, but rather a
project to save endangered birds and fish in the
Missouri River. As has always been the case, the
radical environmentalist agenda would save birds and
fish and let people drown - but that doesn’t get
reported. What the record also shows is that during
the Clinton years, the Corps was encouraged to engage
in flashy, often unnecessary, construction while the
Bush team has been trying to redirect them away from
new construction and back to maintenance, which in
many instances was long overdue - but Bill was
responsible and George is inept.

There’s quite a hubbub over Tom DeLay’s indictment by
Ronnie Earle with precious little substantial
information being presented. If DeLay is guilty,
which an indictment doesn’t even come close to proving
(especially this one), then he should be punished -
and frankly, more seriously than you or I would be for
the same crime, because he has more power than we do.
However, it has yet to be proven that he is, in fact,
guilty of anything at all. On the other hand, I’ll
wager that most of you have no clue what happened to
Michael Steele. That would be Lieutenant Governor
Michael Steele of Maryland. Oh, by the way, he’s a
Republican and considering a run for the US Senate
seat of retiring Paul Sarbanes. Senate staffers Katie
Barge and Lauren Weiner lifted Steele’s Social
Security Number from public records and used it to
gain his credit report. ID theft is a federal crime
and this instance of it comes with a stay at a prison
of the State’s choice lasting up to 2 years. Did I
mention, Barge and Weiner work for Sen. Chuck Schumer
(D-NY) of the Schumer-Nelson ID Theft Prevention Bill?
That would be the obnoxious wind-bag Schumer who
blasted Choicepoint VP Don McGuffy with questions
like: “Do you have a policy when someone’s identity
has been stolen...about notifying law enforcement

Barge and Weiner stole the information in conjunction
with their work for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign
Committee (DSCC) which Schumer happens to be the
chairman of. Their theft occurred sometime in early
July and they were immediately fired and reported to
authorities....err, no, they were put on paid leave
through August 31. They were allowed to resign in
mid-September following an ‘internal investigation.’
Sen. Schumer’s office “immediately notified” Lt. Gov.
Steele in a timely fashion shortly thereafter. Barge
and Weiner are now being investigated by the Justice
Dept and the FBI, who were “immediately notified”
after the DSCC ‘internal investigation.’ Somehow, I
doubt that the honorable Senator Schumer or the DSCC
will be subjects in the investigation, just as they
are not subjects in the news. Contrast the reporting
of this event with the reporting of DeLay’s indictment
or the rumor-mongering masked as reporting about Karl
Rove’s involvement in the Plame affair. Suggesting
that the press has a right slant or is conservatively
controlled is simply laughable.

Which brings me back to defending Jimmy Carter. Mr.
Otis’ references to David Rockefeller, Jimmy Carter
and the Panama Canal treaty is a thin skein of
distantly-related parts of a larger event in time.
Certainly, it is easy to fill in the blanks, draw
connections, see shadows and explicate a complicated
issue in simpler terms. Unfortunately, sometimes, the
world is just complicated. Many very large banks had
financial rods in Panama’s fire. American and Latin
American relations were at a low point. Jimmy Carter
wanted a foreign policy ‘win’ - God knows, he needed
some sort of success somewhere. However, it is not a
conspiracy that the ‘movers and shakers’ rise to the
top in their professions and often come to positions
of power in politics. I’d rather have a crackerjack
banker working Federal finance than a bang-up
bookkeeper, but I’m probably just too naive.

The US State Department’s website says:”President
James E. ("Jimmy") Carter saw returning the Panama
Canal as key to improving U.S. relations in the
hemisphere and the developing world.” I see no
historical reason to doubt that. In fact, much as I
hate to admit it, Jimmy Carter, who I think was one of
the worst Presidents ever and a moron in foreign
policy and military matters, hit the nail on the head
returning the canal to Panama, even considering the
continued US funding involved. By the 1970s, the
military justification of the canal was nonexistent
and the political potential of the deal, at the very
least, worthy of consideration. Unfortunately, within
a decade, Manuel Noriega would take over and any
political gain was lost, but that’s not Carter’s

Now, according to the Trilateral or Neocon conspiracy
theory, the Bankers were behind the treaty as an
assurance of their investments in Panama. That is
simply a fool’s argument, as Noriega proves. If there
were such a super-power secret-society, Noriega would
not have been allowed to rise to power. Moreover, had
the banks wanted stability for their investments, it
would have been far easier to simply foreclose on the
entire country and take it over. Profits to the
conglomerates would have been far greater that way.

Sadly, despite Mr. Otis’s very cogent writing and the
very fair and even-handed approach he takes to issues,
the truth about conspiracy theories (my own probably
included) is that they “offer meaning and
purposefulness in a capricious, kaleidoscopic,
maddeningly ambiguous, and cruel world. They empower
their otherwise helpless and terrified believers.
There are more than 186,600 Web sites dedicated to
conspiracy theories in Google's database of 3 billion
pages...There are 1077 titles about conspiracies
listed in Amazon and another 12078 in its
individually-operated Zshop.” (‘The Economics of
Conspiracy Theories’ Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.)

So you see, I find it hard to shed any tears over the
one-sided way in which I choose the targets of my
scribblings. However, if I have ever offended anyone,
I apologize with all my heart for any feelings I may
have hurt. I can’t look at a magazine or newspaper,
flip through television news broadcasts, or tune
through the radio dial without being bombarded with
‘views from the left.’ Those few, albeit refreshing,
right-side pundits are just that...few. By the same
token, I find it hard to credit the ‘conspiracy
theory’ that the media is leaning right or even
controlled by a right-leaning cabal. To give credence
to some neoconservative, masonic, knights templar,
illuminati, or trilateral secret society that seeks
world dominance is just so much 007 fantasy. It has
been making the rounds for hundreds of years and
probably a lot longer than that.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Nuclear Made Unclear

I have always loved Superman. My fascination for
heroes probably influenced my reaction to the recent
movie “The Incredibles.” Almost any kid, when I was a
kid, could tell you that Superman fought for “Truth,
Justice, and the American Way” (sotto voce thanks to
George Reeves). Now, as an adult, still hanging on to
that spirit, I can totally relate to Mr. Incredible’s
comment that after saving the world he’d “just like it
to STAY SAVED for a few minutes.” I feel like that
sometimes. You would think that the truth would trump
the lies, but sadly that’s just not true

An email crossed my path recently. It was an alarming
notice of the Vermont Public Service Board’s hearing
on Entergy’s proposal about Dry Cask Nuclear Storage.
As is so often the case with “alarmist emails,” the
dire warnings were overstated and frightening
information was false or misleading. Why is it so
hard for activists to tell the truth?

Specifically, this email focuses on Entergy’s use of
the phrase “temporary, passive storage.” The email
objects to calling the facility ‘temporary’ because
“once high level nuclear waste is canned and put in
place, no one can say when it will be removed.” Not
only is this claim illogical, it’s just foolishly
untrue. Because the spent fuel rods are canned, they
CAN be put in place, and because they are PUT in a
place, they CAN be removed. In fact, the reason the
proposal is being made in the first place, is because
the national nuclear waste repository at Yucca
Mountain, Nevada has become politicized. That point
is glossed over in the email, which explains that Sen.
Harry Reid (D-NV) is sponsoring legislation to keep
nuclear waste at the facility where it originated.
The email neglects to say that the issue was decided
in 2002 by both parties in both houses of Congress and
the legislation passed to the President, who signed it
into law.

Politics doesn’t scare people very much, so to gin up
the fear factor, the email raises the specter of
radiation, claiming that “it is, in fact,
self-energized and powered by radioactivity” and
therefore not ‘passive’ as Entergy claims. This
statement is base and misleading. Certainly the spent
fuel rods are radioactive, but the dry cask system
contains the radiation. The email plays fast and
loose with a description of the construction of a dry
cask, specifically suggesting that the irradiated
materials are open to the air, which is patently

The email moves into rally mode with “THE BUCK STOPS
HERE...IT IS NOW UP TO US.” and after making the
obligatory “let us demand” call to action, it closes
with a brief paragraph just seething with terror: the
dry casks “will contain...deadly fission products,
such as...Strontium 90...[and] Plutonium 139 which
will remain lethal for 240,000 years and sufficient to
make about 20 nuclear bombs.” What utter ROT!

Nuclear reactors use Uranium 235, which is transformed
into Plutonium 239 (not 139). While it is true that
pure Plutonium 239 is the fuel for nuclear weapons,
what comes out of a reactor is not pure, it includes
isotopes of Plutonium 240, 241, and 242. A nuclear
bomb made with such contaminated Plutonium will not
work and it is not possible to separate the isotopes
out. Granted, the waste is still radioactive and
deadly with even minimal exposure; however the specter
of terrorists making nuclear bombs with this stuff is
just old-fashioned fear-mongering.

Strontium 90 is another, nastier, matter. Strontium
90 not a naturally-occurring isotope. According to
the Nuclear Energy Institute, “there are three sources
for strontium-90 in the environment: fallout from
nuclear weapons testing, releases from the Chernobyl
accident in the Ukraine, and minute releases from
nuclear power reactors.” It is chemically similar to
calcium and thus is easy to test for in bones and
teeth. An adult body differentiates Strontium 90 from
calcium (favoring calcium), but an infant’s body does

The email specifies this isotope to take advantage of
a scare tactic that’s been making the rounds for over
30 years. On July 27, 2005 the Brattleboro Reformer
ran an article titled “Groups to study VY radiation
emissions.” The article opened, “at the behest of
local organizations, the Radiation and Public Health
Project will be examining the levels of Strontium-90
in baby teeth belonging to children living within a
50-mile radius of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear reactor
in Vernon.” The article correctly identifies the
“local organizations” as the Citizens Awareness
Network, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the
Taprock Peace Center and notes that they are activists
in opposition to nuclear weapons and power, but
doesn’t delve much further to reveal their
anti-capitalist nature or socialist agenda (and how
better to achieve that agenda than by undermining the
economy by denying it energy efficiency). However,
the reporter really drops the ball by not identifying
the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP).

The RPHP is a national activist group founded in 1985.
Basing their initial research on work performed at
the St. Louis Washington University in 1959, the group
has performed “studies” around the nation finding
Strontium 90 in baby teeth and linking it to nuclear
reactors and cancers, garnering them the nickname:
“the Tooth Fairy Project.” Their reports have been
thoroughly and completely evaluated and dismissed by
such organizations as the National Institute of
Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American
Cancer Society, not to mention, the U.S. Atomic Energy
Commission’s Health and Safety Laboratory. The
American Academy of Pediatrics, hardly unconcerned
with infant health issues, described the RPHP studies
as “unfounded and unsubstantiated.” The Nuclear
Energy Institute describes Strontium 90 releases from
nuclear reactors as “so small they would be
undetectable in comparison with the amount of
strontium-90 already in the environment from weapons
testing. These levels are well below government
limits. No credible scientific study has shown that
the levels of strontium found in the environment pose
a health risk.”

That doesn’t stop the activists. Truth does not trump
activism. They have an agenda and it drives them.
They proffer “renewable energy,” knowing full well
that the ideas they suggest are not viable for large
scale continuing energy production. Even the name
“renewable energy” is a misnomer: biomass is used up
in the production of energy, and solar and wind are
not supplies we have control over so we can’t renew
them - either the wind blows or it doesn’t and either
the sun shines or it’s cloudy, sometimes you produce
power, sometimes you don’t. In fact, the only truly
“renewable energy” source is fissionable nuclear
reactions. So if the activists’ agenda isn’t truly
energy independence and it’s not peace (they don’t
protest North Korea or Iran’s nukes), the only logical
goal left is to keep us energy dependent on fuels that
sap and weaken our economy. History shows that
failing economies often produce more liberal and
socialist governments. It is not a coincidence that
many activist groups label themselves “such-and-such
for Social this-or-that.” They used to have to cloak
that, not so much anymore.

Many European countries derive a substantial amount of
their energy from nuclear reactors and the stockpile
the waste from them not at the reactors, but at
national repositories. PBS’s Frontline did a report
on France’s nuclear program and observed that the
French were uneasy relying on OPEC and looked at the
nuclear option as “no oil, no gas, no coal, no
choice.” What the Europeans have done, that we
consistently fail to do in the U.S., is to educate.
“The French authorities have worked hard to get people
to think of the benefits of nuclear energy as well as
the risks,” Claude Mandil, General Director for Energy
and Raw Materials at France’s Ministry of Industry,
tells Frontline, “Glossy television advertising
campaigns reinforce the link between nuclear power and
the electricity that makes modern life possible.
Nuclear plants solicit people to take tours – an offer
that six million French people have taken up.” In
Finland, Ahti Toivola, a nuclear engineer and
spokesman for TVO, Finland’s nuclear energy operator,
noted that “one of the most crucial factors in
fostering public confidence...was the media’s
reporting of a lot of facts during the four year
debate. This enabled a very open and informed
discussion between stakeholders and the general
public.” Another Finn, Timo Seppala, warns that
“public opinion polls should not be the sole basis for
political decision making...the results are too
dependent on the framing of the question.” He also
notes that “politicians had to be more assertive in
driving the case for nuclear power.” If the French
didn’t make the case eloquently enough perhaps
Professor Risto Tarjanne of Lappeenranta University of
Technology will: “nuclear had the lowest generation
costs of any power source and zero carbon
emissions...nuclear power would ensure the security of
a cheap energy source.”

So, when Sen Harry Reid (D-NV), as the point-man for
the anti-nuke Luddites, defies both the House of
Representatives and the Senate (ostensibly the will of
the people), is he doing his duty as a representative
of the people, or is he politicking for the special
interest groups that line his pockets? With the
strangle-hold that OPEC has, are the Citizens
Awareness Network, Physicians for Social
Responsibility, the Taprock Peace Center, and the
Radiation and Public Health Project really educating
the public or feathering their nests by sowing
irrational fears? Are the media performing their
moral and ethical duty, the one that goes with that
Constitutional freedom they talk about, when they hype
the sexy sci-fi of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl
without putting the science in context with the
fiction, or are they co-conspirators with their
activist friends? There is a reason why Europe is
becoming independent of fossil fuels and the U.S. is
not and it isn’t because, as the email says,
government “muffed its chance to gain even minimal
protections for future generations of area people.”

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